Physical punishment still legal in schools in many states in the USA

July 20, 2010

Corporal punishment of children in schools has been illegal in New Zealand for 20 years. Most parents would be outraged if they thought their children could be strapped or caned at the discretion of another adult. They would see this form of punishment as unjust, ineffective, unsafe and a breach of children’s rights.

In a short news item from Texas. USA, something called a “paddle” is displayed. This is the implement used in some schools to punish children. It looks like a cricket bat and it is said to be capable of causing tissue injury in the recipient. Physical punishment of children in schools is still legal in some, but not all, states in USA.

In the clip a child advocate argues against the use of physical punishment as colleagues seek to make physical punishment of children illegal in schools in Texas. He argues that hitting children teaches them to hit, is ineffective as a method of teaching children to behave well and is a cruel and degrading form of punishment.

Hopefully more and more New Zealanders know these things and will feel horror on seeing a “paddle”. The “paddle” is a very graphic symbol of violence to children and reflects nothing but misinformation about what adults can do to help children behave well.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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